Caleb’s 2 1/2 Year Update

04/27/2010

Caleb Painting in Art Space 13
Caleb is 2 1/2 (31 months old) and he has a new haircut. I was inspired by the worship leader at our church, Dan Holst, for this little cut. I think it makes Caleb look like a really hip bully.
Caleb Painting in Art Space 6
I thought I’d take a few moments to note what he’s doing these days.
Story 1
I’ve found that “stay in the yard” means very little to a toddler. So, I’ve had to make the rules: no going on the road, no going to the neighbor’s house, no going in the woods, no going in the water. These boundaries have effectively kept Caleb in our yard. Last week he was walking along the back edge of our property and, when I approached him, I saw that one of his legs was muddy up to the knee. I said, “Caleb, I said no going in the water.” He looked sweetly up at me and said, “Oh, I no go in the water Mama.” Then he pointed to his ‘offending’ leg and added, “Just this one.”
Story 2
Yesterday, Caleb prayed before we ate lunch. He said, “Dear Jesus, Thank you for this meal. Thank you for real. See? It rhymes. Amen.”
Story 3
Recently, we were at Key’s Cafe for lunch. Caleb’s food came and he said, “Hey, no french fries. Mama, you have any french fries?” I said that no, I didn’t have any. He turned to Grandma Whiting, “Grandma, do you have any french fries?” Grandma said that no, she didn’t have any. She suggested that he enjoy his hashed browns because they were kind of like french fries. Then, Caleb stands up in the booth and turns to address the entire restaurant, “Hey! Anybody have any french fries?” We explained to him that we couldn’t bother other people at the restaurant, which he seemed to think was pretty lame. Hilarious all the same.
Digging the Jazz
We recently took him to a jazz concert at Bethel University. I was pretty impressed that he was able to sit through the whole thing (2 hours!). He would clap along, try to snap, impersonate the strange foot-stamping of the director, and ask questions about the instruments. Aside from a shout of “Good job everybody!” and “Oh! Duke Elliston!” (Duke Ellington), he was actually very well behaved. He also struck up a conversation a few times with a blonde female vocalist. What can we say? Caleb digs his jazz.
Verbosity
Developmentally, I think Caleb is your average kid, except that he is exceptionally verbal. Sometimes I forget that I’m talking to a 2-year-old. Here’s an example of our morning conversation:
Caleb: Mama, what are we doing today?
Me: I don’t know, what do you think we should do?
Caleb: Hmmm… maybe go to the park. Or maybe we should just stay home and make some waffles and sausage meat. I would like to watch Mary Poppins too because the penguins are so funny, HA HA! Silly penguins.
Me: Waffles sound delicious! We should go outside too.
Caleb: Oh yes. I think… today is the day for the garbage truck.
Me: That’s right. The garbage truck is coming today. How did you know that?
Caleb: Oh, I see the cans outside. The truck goes up and down with the garbage cans and then we can bring ‘em back.
Me: Oh, will you help me bring the cans back to the house?
Caleb: Yes. And let’s bring Ella too. And my drum.
It continued long after that, but this at least gives an idea about the kind of conversations we have. He loves to pick up new words. Lately he has been using “cacophony” to describe when multiple dogs are barking, “amazing” when something cool happens, “delicious” to describe foods he likes, “curious” to describe himself when he wants to know something, and many others. He also tells me that “Ebeneezer Scrooge is a naughty boy!” If I use a new word he will ask me about it then try to use it. Here’s an example:
Me: Ha ha, the side of the garbage truck says, “It’s rubbish!” That’s too funny.
Caleb: What’s ‘rubbish’?
Me: It’s another word for garbage. Garbage is rubbish. Rubbish is garbage.
Later when we go in the house, he picks up a piece of fuzz on the floor and throws it in the garbage can saying, “Go in there you rubbish!”
The Books
We read a ton. We’re one of those families that have huge piles of books within reach from pretty much anywhere you might choose to sit. Caleb will sit and “read” books to Ella and Jack. Recently he “read” Jack the entirety of Good Night, Gorilla. Makes a mama so proud. Currently, the most-read books are as follows:

The Movies
It’s a short list, but these are the ones that matter to Caleb:

Other Things
We’ve started to try to play board games, but they are still pretty complicated for him. He enjoys the lame paired-down version of the rules we play. He loves his marble run and enjoys “engineering” new runs. He loves to count and even does simple math on his own (like adding and subtracting birds as they land in or leave our yard). He really loves music and continues with Musikgarten and has recently been asking to play the violin. His pitch is improving. We paint a lot. He mostly enjoys gluing things, so I gave him a container of things he can glue to paper and he’ll do that for awhile. He likes to help feed Jack his baby food. Caleb also enjoys helping around the house as usual. He loves to talk to people. He is getting better at controlling his emotions (meaning that he flings himself on the floor less often). We love seeing his personality develop!